This makes employment difficult and has since my 20’s, I have a 5-year maximum at a job before I start feeling uncomfortable or bored as I call it. I think as long as my mind is occupied with tasks I am ok, as soon as I become too comfortable or someone starts mentioning things I do that are different or (weird is usually the term) I feel it is harder to control outbursts, tapping, OCD, etc.
For the past 7 years, I have cared for my senior mother who has early-onset Alzheimer’s. Due to the need to be closer to home, I decided to start my own business Kustom Re-Klaimed (KRK) in 2019. Had it not been for starting my own business I would have been more concerned about my income and worried if Tourette’s would be an issue for me now in a workplace.
I still worry my condition will cost me customers and cause other issues, (my business is on-line mostly, selling upcycled items, so transactions are usually in person, I also have plans to do demos and events).
“I could say Tourette’s makes my life more difficult, but I could not say I can’t function, nor could I prove it affects my quality of life, even thinking like that could be overwhelming for me.”
Having cognitive challenges, life would be devastating if I gave into or gave up on any challenges. Fighting to have the right to be included is something you can’t let take you down, no matter what people tell you or what you have to face or overcome. It becomes part of your self-esteem/self-image and having to give up this fight would probably mean dealing with depression.
In the past I have not disclosed my conditions, even the ones I have a diagnosis for. I most likely would not have been hired at the #1 law firm in Manitoba right out of school for legal administration assistance had I disclosed I was dyslexic…but my 96% grade average doesn’t say disability (it’s when they meet and get to know me and its never disability, its usually weird, odd and other terms – some crack me up – once I was told, your not an “A” typical personality type, not sure what letter you would be…lol (shrug)) I’d like to say I am more empowered and overcome it all, but really I except being weird.
Writing this article is part of my journey in acknowledging, accepting and allowing me to be exactly who I was born to be – I feel with the current effects of my condition it needs to be known; who I am somewhere in my life, that I am proud of my accomplishments, that I plan to learn more about my conditions and get support to continue to move forward.
“I have watched and tolerated a lot of people who behave rudely in public and towards others, loudly talking on cellphones, pushing through crowds, rude remarks, etc.. (maybe they have undiagnosed conditions). I always think, if everyone tolerated this behavior without reason or condition then why have they never just accepted the quirks that make a neurological or cognitive condition stand out?”
I feel OCD and Autism are my superpowers, they help organize my day to keep stress low and I don’t have the personal connection that allows some people’s rude comments to affect me the same way I have seen them affect others.
A couple of personal analogies:
It takes approx. 2-5 minutes for me to realize that someone just served me a backhanded compliment, by then they are gone and feel empowered by their clever insult, I shrug it off.
It’s like if someone walks into a store and they want an item, the name brand ones are all sold out, there is a shelf filled with the same quality, no-name item and the person would still rather keep looking for the name brand item then settle for the same quality, in a different package.
“It’s not the diagnosis, nor dealing with the condition that makes it hard, it’s the perception of others, the fact most don’t understand but still judge, comment and hold more authority with their words than I would with my words and what I know about my condition.”